Patch-Clamp Methods and Protocols

Volume 1183 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 65-80


State-of-the-Art Automated Patch Clamp: Heat Activation, Action Potentials, and High Throughput in Ion Channel Screening

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A successful robotic approach of the patch clamp technique is based on planar patch clamp chips where a glass pipette, as used in conventional patch clamping, is replaced by a thin planar glass sheet with a small hole in the middle. Automated patch clamp (APC) systems utilizing this chip design offer higher throughput capabilities and ease of use and thus have become common in basic research, drug development, and safety screening. Further development of existing devices and introduction of new systems widen the range of possible experiments and increase throughput. Here, two features with different areas of applications that meet the needs of drug discovery researchers and basic researchers alike are described. The utilized system is a medium throughput APC device capable of recording up to eight cells simultaneously. The temperature control capability and the possibility to perform recordings not only in the voltage clamp but also in the current clamp mode are described in detail. Since eight recordings can be generated in parallel without compromising data quality, reliable and cost-effective and time-effective screening of compounds against ion channels using voltage clamp and current clamp electrophysiology can be performed.

Key words

Automated patch clamp Action potential Current clamp Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes High throughput Ion channel screening